Advent in Kent: Top Tips

I cannot believe that tomorrow is Christmas Eve

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve!

We have had a wonderful advent

We have been so busy, in fact

That we are not really ready for Christmas at all

Tonight we have started the mammoth task that is THE WRAPPING

Tomorrow will be all about getting ready for Christmas Day

And advent?

Advent has been about making memories

Magical festive family memories

Presents that can never be lost or taken away

Here are my top tips for places to go

And things to see

During the Christmas countdown

In and around Kent

Frosted Fairground, Dreamland, Margate

At the beginning of December

We took Nanny and Grandpa

On a trip down memory lane

We went ‘down to Margate’

To the newly reopened

Dreamland

I had not been there myself

Since it was Bem Bom Brothers in the 80s

My parents had been then too

But my Dad also had memories of Dreamland

From when he was a boy

It was a lovely festive family outing

And we all loved the Frosted Fair

We started our day with a coffee

Watching the roller disco

Esther was desperate to have a go

But I wondered if she might be a bit too young and small

Instead we ventured into the arcade

And played the tuppenny machines

Esther and William had a wonderful time

Collecting winning tokens

Though we did not have enough to exchange for a prize

golden tickets

Out in the park it was bitterly cold

And we felt very festive wrapped up in our winter woollies

We headed straight to the carousel

I rode with Esther and her delight was wonderful to see

mummy daughter

There are lots of rides to enjoy at Dreamland

David and I took the children on the monorail

That you to pedal along the rails

It was great active fun

My heart was pumping

My stomach was leaping when David and I rode the scenic railway

A beautifully reconstructed blast from the past!

twintastic

Esther and William enjoyed the rides

There was lots for them to do

Even though they are so tiny

Bea’s favourite thing was definitely the soft play

The Octopus Gardens

Complete with indoor sand!

octopus garden

All the children had a wonderful day

We all did

I will never forget the smiles on our faces

And the Christmas joy in our hearts

funny faces

When the time came to see Father Christmas

We had great fun singing and dancing with the elves

elves

Before going on to meet the man in red himself

And being given an awesome Hornby Chocolate Machine

William literally ran to be the first with Father Christmas

He had a long old snuggle and chat

I think it is clear in the pictures

How pleased with himself he is

father christmas

We loved our wander down memory lane

We enjoyed the Frosted Fairground

And I look forward to visiting Dreamland again in 2016

I hope that you will visit Margate too!

The Reindeer Centre, Bethersden

When Esther and William were 16 months old

My best friend and I took them to see Father Christmas

At the reindeer centre

Father Christmas himself was great

But the whole experience was not all we had hoped for

And it put me off taking the twins there again

4 years on and I decided to take Bea

And we had the most wonderful time

The centre has extended and improved

The staff were amazing and really added to our enjoyment of the day

play barn

We had a long play in the play barn

Bea loved the sensory snow

The slide and the real life role play

sensory snow

She loved watching the elves dance

We looked at all the bright lights and decorations

And we spent a lot of time talking to the animals

animals

We had a light lunch in the cafe

I had a hot chocolate and was allowed to keep the mug

I now own a 2011 mug and a 2015

Such a nice touch

To be able to keep the Christmas mug

elves

Santa’s grotto was magical

Bea loved running around pointing at all the creatures and characters

She loved meeting the big man

And came away with a beautiful cuddly dog

grotto

We also bought two beautiful cuddly gingerbread men

For Esther and William

That Bea snuggled in her buggy around the park

We had a lovely mummy and daughter time

And we will definitely be going back there again

ginger twins

The Stick Man Trail, Bedgebury Pinetum

On Saturday we decided we need to get outside

After a stuffy indoor term at school

We went to the woods

To Bedgebury

To follow The Stick Man trail

stick man

We had a wonderful morning

Walking in the woods

Talking together

Creating stick people

And learning about woods and trees

family time

A lovely creative way to spend some time outdoors

Some quality family time

family bed

Extending our enjoyment

Of one of our favourite festive stories too

festive family

Leeds Castle

Growing up in Germany

I do like a Christmas market

Today we paid an impromptu visit to one

At Leeds Castle

2015-12-23 14.32.50

We are very lucky to have such an amazing castle

With the most beautiful grounds on our doorstep

Leeds Castle is a place we visit regularly

It is a place that holds very precious memories for our family

2015-12-23 14.33.29

Today was a quick visit

Just enough time to go on the rides

Try some warm Vimto cider

And walk through the grounds to the fabulous children’s play area

2015-12-23 14.57.02

2015-12-23 14.56.43

Riding back through the grounds on the land train

Just as the sky turned black

Was a magical moonlit experience

Another advent memory I will never forget

Looks on my children’s faces I will never forget!

2015-12-23 15.04.27

2015-12-23 15.04.55

Rare Breeds Centre, Woodchurch

Another place that never fails to make us smile

Is the Rare Breeds Farm, near Ashford in Kent

This is a Matilda Mae place

And a place that does Christmas

With magical style

2015-12-12 13.36.26

During advent you can enjoy all the usual fun of the farm

And see Father Christmas

Instead of a Grotto that you walk through

Rare Breeds has a funny family singalong show

With a very naughty snowman

2015-12-12 13.37.00

2015-12-12 13.42.34

The setting is a beautifully lit barn

With walls of fairy lit trees

Walking in is like entering Narnia

We all had a lovely time

2015-12-12 14.10.30

And got lots of special attention from the Snowman

Who made us laugh out loud

Not just smile

2015-12-12 14.10.37

2015-12-12 14.10.42

This was definitely a great way to get into the spirit of the season

And to meet Father Christmas in a slightly different way

2015-12-12 14.17.17

Looking back on all these days

I see that my children are very lucky

That we have had some wonderful times already this Christmas

And the best is yet to come

I love Christmas Eve!

I love the feeling of magic in the air

The anticipation of Father Christmas

And that one more sleep before the big day

I love that the day is busy with baking and crafts

Making gifts for family and friends

Setting the scene for celebration

I have shared with you my top tips for advent visits in Kent

TSB are sharing their top tips this Christmas

For making the season a little easier

So that more magical memories can be made

And that is surely what this season is all about?

Merry Christmas to all

And to all a good night!

This post was written in collaboration with TSB

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